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After showcasing the state’s Dravidian heritage at the stunning opening ceremony of the 44th Chess Olympiad on Thursday, the Tamil Nadu government upped the ante. Chief Minister MK Stalin has uploaded online a “chess dance” video of the black queen triumphing over the white in a message as political as the game. Titled Check Mate, the 3.48-minute dance video is the brainchild of Pudukottai District gatherer Kavitha Ramu, who is a trained dancer herself.

Speaking to The Sunday Express, Ramu, who designed and choreographed the dance, told her the project is about colour, gender and power, and also pays homage to the game that has made Chennai his home in the country .

At a time when an isolated and friendless O Panneerselvam is in dire need of allies, a hoarding and courtship in Tamil Nadu has erupted in recent days – coinciding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state to launch the Chess Olympiad – to have the state in turmoil.

The giant plaque that appeared in Kancheepuram featured a smiling OPS along with life-size images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Interior Minister Amit Shah. The two-page ad appeared in an English daily newspaper on Friday and featured a profile of OPS along with a photo showing him with J Jayalalithaa and another of him with Modi, with a center image from the Ramayana of Bharat at Lord Ram’s feet . The following text calls OPS “the true loyalist” of Jayalalithaa.

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